The Dry Camp by Frederic Remington

Name: The Dry Camp | Artist: Frederic Remington Media: Oil on canvas | Year(s): 1907
Frederic Remington | The Dry Camp | 1907 | Oil on canvas | 27 3/8 inches x 40 inches

About the Work

By 1907, light—early morning, midday glare, moonlight, firelight—had become Remington's obsession as a painter. The Dry Camp is an attempt to capture the intense light at day's end as the setting sun bathes the land in an unreal, ruddy glow. The dramatic light sets the stage for the theatrical pose of a pioneer with his outfit caught at nightfall, short of water in a parched country. He could be an actor upon a spotlit stage, his shadow projected against the props of horse and wagon, which cast their own shadows on the desert backdrop. Having removed a broad-brimmed hat that would have done the trick, the man shades his eyes with a hand, and standing front and center, stares back at the audience. With its pervasive sense of psychological isolation, The Dry Camp also could be seen to represent Everyman at the sunset of life confronting mortality.